Thursday, July 26, 2012

West Nile virus in League City

A rumor reached me yesterday and the rumor said that West Nile virus was recently detected in League City. 
Mosquito close-up photo.
Nasty, nasty, nasty.
From Wikipedia (here).
However, I haven't been able to substantiate this rumor.  Of course, West Nile has been detected in League City in the past, because it has been detected just about everywhere by this time.   
Distribution of West Nile in North America,
from Wikipedia (this page).

But the news reports I'm finding are all old (e.g., this one from GCDN in 2004).  If anyone knows of any such source of alleged recent information, please contact me via centerpointe dot blog at gmail.

One thing we can do is take a look at what is known about West Nile prevalence at the present time.  Oddly enough, much of the current monitoring is communicated through the United States Geological Survey.  Mosquitoes are not really a subject of geology, but USGS does produce maps, afterall. 
Screengrab from this page.
Most of the current human infections are occurring in the DFW area.
This source was showing NO confirmed West Nile cases this year in Galveston County, at least not as of two days ago.
Galveston County Mosquito Control corroborates the information above, having posted this statement to their homepage:

We have had no West Nile Virus positives in our mosquito pools or sentinel flocks within the county. We do test for arboviruses weekly. We understand that Harris County has seen some positives and there are some concerns by our citizens.

By "mosquito pools" and "sentinel flocks", they mean the non-human testing that they monitor for distant early warnings of the re-arrival of the virus.  "Sentinel flocks" is often a fancy way of saying "chickens". 
USGS reports no West Nile cases in any sentinels anywhere in the state, as of two days ago.  But Mosquito Control is saying that now cases are emerging to the north of us.  Perhaps the rumor I heard pertained to those emerging cases for Harris County. 

I don't know why this omission occurred, but I did email Mosquito Control asking about it, and they confirmed via a response email that we were not among those areas of League City that were covered the other day.  That evening, my husband and I heard their truck go down either Walker Street or Centerpointe Drive, but it never went through the neighborhood.  We are outdoorsy people and usually pay strict attention to where the truck is (you can hear the sound of its pesticide diffuser quite some distance away and can usually follow the truck's path with your ears).   We have never heard it skip Centerpointe before this most recent time.

Please keep their telephone ringing, and thanks for your help.

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